Blu-ray Review: Rolling Vengeance | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Rolling Vengeance

Studio: Kino Lorber Studio Classics

Oct 20, 2017 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

When a gang of rednecks murders his entire family, aspiring truck driver Joey Junior does what any sensible young American would do: builds himself a bulletproof, flame-belching monster truck with a drill on the front, and goes himself a hillbilly-huntin’.

Shot in Canada (which stands in for Ohio, of course), this 1987 exploitation flick is cheap and dirty, and that’s not necessarily in a bad way. It’s got a great ‘80s b-movie cast, with Alien from L.A.’s Don Michael Paul in the lead and Deliverance’s Ned Beatty playing the villainous hillbilly patriarch. But, really, who are we trying to kid? The truck action is where it’s at.

For a film that proudly bills itself as “the ultimate monster truck movie,” Rolling Vengeance’s death machine on 66-inch wheels doesn’t make its first appearance until halfway through the film. Once it does show up, though, hooooooo boy, does it live up to its claim. Like Robert Ginty’s vigilante garbage truck in Exterminator 2, the souped-up, roaring death machine is the film’s true star. The filmmakers made sure to write their film around excuses to have their monster truck run over as many cars, people, and even buildings as possible. (One memorable chase scene sends the monster truck crashing through the metal door of an abandoned warehouse, where hundreds of crates are nonsensically stacked directly in its crushing path.) Everything leading up to these scenes is there to get the audience on the side of the monster truck-driving vigilante; everything that comes between those scenes is just filler.

It’s gratuitous, yes, but it’s a lot of fun.

Rolling Vengeance isn’t exactly one of those movies that was screaming for a Blu-ray release, but we’re glad Kino Lorber Studio Classics went ahead with one. The picture and sound weren’t exactly top-notch when the movie was made, but the extra features on this edition – a video interview with co-star Lawrence Dane, and commentary by Canuxploitation expert Paul Corupe and historian Jason Pichonsky – are both worth viewing.


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March 24th 2018

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